There’s no hint of coolness in our northern Illinois air but fall is definitely on the way. Even without the weather as an indicator, we know that fall is coming because those familiar yellow school buses are gearing up and will soon take to the streets.
If you’re like most parents, you’ll soon be planning an expedition to the mall or nearby local shoe store to purchase those all-important new school shoes. Those small feet have grown over the summer will need sturdy, supportive shoes for indoor and outdoor school fun.
Whether your children beg you for Finding Dory, Zootopia, TMNT or Batman-themed shoes, use common sense to guide them towards shoes that are fashionable but also comfortable and well-made. Here’s how:
Back to School Shoe Shopping Tips
Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM recommends shopping carefully for school shoes for your child for comfort and maximum foot health:
- Be sure to check your school’s dress code before heading out on a shopping trip as certain shoe styles may be recommended or prohibited.
- If possible, stick to shoe stores with employees who can professionally measure your child’s feet.
- Take along your child’s own socks for an accurate fit.
- Budget for 2 pairs of shoes so they can be alternated.
- Plan your shopping trip for late in the day when the feet are largest. Always buy for the larger foot.
- Avoid buying shoes that are too big with room to grow. The shoe’s arch won’t match your child’s arch and can cause muscle development problems.
- Look for quality materials like leather and suede that wear well.
- Shoes should bend easily and be flexible. Choose only those shoes with low toes and heels.
- The tip of your finger – about ½” – should fit between the end of the shoe and the longest toe to allow for growing.
- Watch your child walk around the store while wearing the new shoes. The heels shouldn’t slip up and down. Shoes should be immediately comfortable with no breaking-in period.
- Grab a few pairs of cushioned socks so you can retire those that are old and worn.
One last word of caution – it’s not a good idea for your child to wear hand-me-down shoes. Shoes mold to the owner’s feet and will not fit your child.
Plan on a little negotiation if necessary but remember – you’re the parent! Keep your child’s foot health uppermost in mind when choosing back to school shoes.
Let Us Help with Evaluating your Child’s Foot Health and Recommending Footwear
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with assessing children’s foot health and shoe requirements. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website for an examination or for any foot or ankle problem. Let us help you get your child started on the right foot this school year!